Editor’s note: A previous version of this story indicated that Canada Post’s new mailboxes had been designed in Arizona. The union later clarified that the boxes were meant for use in Arizona, but had not been designed in the U.S. state.
A postal worker in Thunder Bay ended up in hospital on Wednesday after a community mailbox toppled over onto her as she was delivering the mail.
“It fell right on top of her, breaking her glasses, hitting her head and her right shoulder was injured,” said Joanne Nowosad, president of the Thunder Bay local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, in a statement issued on Thursday.
“These mailboxes are a clear and present danger to public safety… what if it had fallen on top of a child?”
The worker’s injuries were not believed to have been life-threatening. Photographs taken by union representatives show the box somehow became detached from its concrete base, causing it to fall forward onto the ground.
The union is alleging that the new boxes are not well suited for Canadian winters, having originally been designed for use in Arizona. Even with a relatively mild winter across the country, there have been complaints of locks freezing shut, break-ins targeting the boxes and ice and snow accumulating around them.
The union is calling on the Liberal government to fully restore home delivery in its upcoming public review of the postal system.
The Liberals put a stop to the transition from door-to-door delivery to community boxes implemented by the Conservatives after they were elected in October, but communities that had already been moved over from one system to the other were told they had to keep the boxes.
In response to a request for comment from Global News, Canada Post confirmed it received a report of “an incident” at a community mailbox.
“It appears that the module fell from its base,” said a spokesperson. “The cause is unclear at this time and an investigation is underway.”